FITNESS CENTER MANAGEMENT
GETTING PEOPLE IN THE DOOR AND KEEPING THEM
What You'll Learn:
Finding Reliable, Qualified Staff
Member Safety and Onboarding
How to Get People to Use Your Fitness Center
Keeping Your Fitness Center Clean and Safe
Choosing the Right Equipment for the Space
Understanding the Unique Needs of Each Client
FINDING QUALITY, RELIABLE STAFF
If your goal is to encourage use of your corporate or tenant fitness center and increase the level of health and wellbeing for your population, it’s good to know what to look for before hiring fitness staff or engaging with a staffing service.
Qualified Trainers and Instructors
Personal trainers and group fitness instructors aren’t hard to find these days. In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated nearly 300,000 personal training jobs were available in the U.S. Because the industry isn’t regulated, fitness credentials vary widely. From online certifications procured in the span of two hours, to undergraduate programs and everything in between, it’s hard to know what you’re actually getting.
At Vivecorp, we know the education and experience of our personal trainers and group fitness instructors is what helps create professional, science-backed fitness experiences for each of our clients. That’s why our staff are all degreed or certified by accredited, respected fitness education organizations like ACSM, NASM, NSCA and ACE.
But degrees and certifications aren’t useful without an innate knowledge of human behavior change. Customizing a fitness program isn’t just about an individual’s fitness level. It must also be customized to where a client falls within the stages of change. When you hear people say “meeting people where they are”, this is what they mean. A skilled personal trainer or fitness instructor can identify a client’s stage and employ the right tools to encourage them forward.
Understanding environment is another key aspect to finding the right staff. A corporate fitness center is not the same as a commercial fitness center. At a corporate fitness center, your members are exercising at work. And with that comes the stress of exercising with colleagues (and supervisors!), schedules at the mercy of last-minute meetings and shorter time available to get in a workout. Does your staff exhibit the necessary patience and discretion to work with this population?
The right fitness staff are able to take these challenges head-on and create a fun, safe and judgement-free community. Your on-site fitness center should be a haven for your employees. A place where they can make time to invest in themselves.
MEMBER SAFETY AND ONBOARDING
A staffed fitness center doesn’t have to be a full-service model with personal training and classes. If you have a limited budget, plan to staff your fitness center for a few hours each week or month, depending on the number of members. This will ensure proper member onboarding.
What does onboarding mean?
A good member on boarding should contain pre-activity screenings. These screenings consist of review of membership paperwork, including a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire or PAR-Q, a blood pressure reading, a short discussion of fitness goals and signature of an informed consent form. These steps ensure the member understands all risks of engaging in physical activity, thus limiting liability. It also helps determine at-risk members who should see a doctor before participating in exercise.
HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO USE YOUR FITNESS CENTER
It is said an unstaffed fitness center is an unused fitness center. 60% of employees and tenants will use a staffed fitness center versus only 20% who will use an unstaffed fitness center. In the era of on-demand, online fitness offerings, many members continue to seek out a high-touch experience within a community of peers. Having a fitness center staffed with highly skilled professionals with a variety of programs and classes ensures a high level of not only customer service, but also engagement and accountability.
Communication Planning & Support
In addition to robust customer service skills, fitness professionals in a corporate environment should be able to professionally communicate with their clients. A reputable fitness management staffing company can provide the necessary guidance and training to ensure clients receive appropriate communications at the right time with the ideal cadence.
Your staffed fitness center is also the ideal venue to support any health, wellness or safety initiatives in your company. In addition to being a great venue to post flyers, fitness staff can become champions of your other programs and services.
Health Promotion Activities
Fitness centers are a great place to plan and implement health promotion activities. Health promotion activities could be lunch and learns, clinics, seminars or incentive programs. Leverage fitness center staff to survey the population to determine topics of interest, find and schedule reputable speakers and create a marketing and communication strategy to reach not only gym members, but all company employees, if desired.
KEEPING YOUR FITNESS CENTER CLEAN AND SAFE
People notice when your fitness center has dirty, broken equipment. Having a management company means your facility is cleaned and maintained on a regular schedule. This not only keeps your members happy and engaged, it also helps you preserve the investment in the space and equipment.
A dirty facility and unmaintained equipment also pose a safety hazard. Fitness center staff can implement an equipment cleaning schedule, alert you to out-of-service machines, serve as a liaison to your janitorial staff and arrange for periodic equipment maintenance.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT FOR THE SPACE
Knowing when to update your fitness center can be challenging. As knowledge of how the human body becomes fit grows more sophisticated each year, so do fitness modalities and the equipment that goes with them. Review your space on an annual basis to determine what, if any, changes should be made.
A population survey to determine how the space is used will not only help you to know what changes should be made to meet the needs of your population, it also shows your members you’re doing your due diligence, and listening to their wants and needs before any changes are made.
Change can be hard, so before any changes are made, develop a communication strategy to keep your members informed of and engaged in the process. You’re not going to make everyone happy, but a little planning and education around why the changes were made will go a long way. Members will want to understand how to use the new equipment to accomplish their goals. Schedule a fun Open House event to introduce members to the new equipment or space. Include ongoing equipment orientations and make sure you have plenty of space in personal training and group training sessions to accommodate new participants who may want more guidance on how to use the equipment effectively.
Diverse and Flexible Fitness Options
Just like equipment changes to meet the needs of new fitness modalities, so does personal training and group exercise. Regularly evaluate all fitness offerings to ensure they meet the needs of your population.
UNDERSTANDING THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF EACH CLIENT
Clients come in all shapes and sizes, from class A multi-tenant office buildings and single-tenant owner operator properties to world-class multi-family residential spaces. A fitness center management company will understand the unique structure and needs of each.
A good team will be able to navigate the multi-layered corporate infrastructure as it relates to the day-to-day functions and ongoing growth of the space. Developing strong relationships with Facilities, Human Resources, Safety, Communications and other departments are key to ensuring facility operations run smoothly, stakeholders are happy and most importantly, employees become engaged fitness center members.
In the amenity arms race, fitness centers are on top. Does your space have it what it takes to compete with new buildings? In addition to full-service fitness offerings, a fitness center management company can design wellness programs for all facility tenants and can work one-on-one with tenants to customize a fitness and wellness experience unique to their population.
Fitness centers can also generate ancillary revenue or return the cost back to the member by becoming a profit center. Nominal membership fees and for-fee services like personal training and group exercise classes can minimize facility management fees while increasing usage.
These days, renters are looking for two key things: location and amenities. A tired fitness center with a treadmill and a few dumbbells will no longer cut it. Your fitness center needs to have modern equipment, a studio and a variety of fitness offerings.
Fitness center usage at a multi-family residential space like an apartment or condo building is wildly different than a corporate space. A fitness center management company understands the patterns of use. For example, mid-morning and mid-afternoon see much more use than a corporate or commercial space. Evening classes will need to be later and weekends become an opportunity for increased use with planned classes or group personal training sessions.
The benefits of group fitness go beyond the physical. Creating a program not only enhances the wellbeing of the participant, it can also create a sense of community among your population and increase participation in other programs and services.
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